Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Aug 13, 2018
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IATA going global with new paperless ID card

Beyond the AD75


Canada is one of only two testing grounds for IATA’s brand-new digital Travel Professional ID Card, which went mobile via the AgentExperience app last week. If all goes without a hitch here and in Australia, the paperless card is expected to go global in a couple of months.
And, in a major bid to boost the number of ID Card members worldwide, IATA is actively enlisting more travel industry suppliers from all sectors willing and able to offer concessions to the association’s accredited agents.
Inigo Prieto, IATA’s T&T ID card product manager, said Canada was chosen for testing because it boasts more cardholders than any other country in the world, barring the United States, while Australia occupies third place.
And Montreal-based Prieto revealed that his group is going after suppliers such as hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, tourist attractions, and others, asking them to offer specific concessionary incentives to the current crop of more than 125,000 ID Card holder agents worldwide on the basis that they’ve been vetted and have been given the IATA seal of approval in terms of their professionalism and reliability.
He told CTP that Porter Airlines, Air Canada, Orlando Universal Resort and Premium Plaza Lounge had recently indicated they were on board with the program.
“The 20-year-old ID Card program is recognized as an industry credential by airlines to validate that holders are bonafide professionals,” said Prieto, adding that the new initiative “goes way beyond the AD75.”
The digital card is now available to IATA-accredited agents issuing air tickets through the BSP system, as well as Travel Industry Designator Service (TIDS) travel agents and sales intermediaries such as meeting planners and
event organizers.
An IATA FAQ document explains that a TIDS code facilitates identification of bookings and reservations with industry suppliers such as airlines, hotels and car rental companies. TIDS agents cannot issue air tickets through the BSP whereas IATA-accredited agents are authorized to do so.
IATA has identified five major benefits accruing from ownership of a new digital ID Card:
Holders will never be without proof of their professional status and forgetting or losing the card is no longer a worry. Losing one’s own device is also not an issue, since the card can be accessed on any device with the app.
The agent’s status can be verified quicker since the digital card can be emailed to suppliers with a simple tap. When claiming an offer, a quick scan of the card’s QR code will validate the holder’s identity.
The holder’s status is protected from theft because access to the app is protected. Additionally, when the ID Card is shared with suppliers, status is further endorsed since the email will come from IATA.
Agents can benefit quickly from maximum advantages, as IATA pledges that the card and its associated advantages will be available within 48 hours upon order/approval confirmation.
The digital card allows holders to optimize their precious time because mobile access means they can take advantage of spare moments to check out latest offers or get answers to ID Card or AgentExperience questions from the IATA team.